There are two interesting items from Europe to start the week. TeliaSonera has brought in some talent from rather further south as CEO, and Telefonica has found itself denying reports of a buyout offer from AT&T.
TeliaSonera has found itself a new CEO from an unexpected angle, poaching the current CEO of South Africa's Vodacom International. Johan Dennelind will take the reins as the Nordic giant tries to move past the Uzbek black eye at the end of last year. It seems to be a signal that emerging markets will be a big part of the strategy going forward for TeliaSonera, not that it wasn't already.
Meanwhile, Telefonica had to deny what might have otherwise been a blockbuster M&A rumor this morning. Apparently, a Spanish newspaper claimed that AT&T had recently bid some €70B for the company only to have the country's regulators stop the idea in its tracks.
The rumors of AT&T looking to expand inorganically overseas do seem to be multiplying, e.g. remember that slightly crazy idea of a combined AT&T/Verizon bid for Vodafone? I'll bet they do make a move this year, and honestly I think Telefonica would be on the list for their Latin American depth if regulators would allow it. But they surely won't.
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